South Yorkshire Police reveal number of drink and drug drivers caught during festive season
A total of 30 motorists were caught drink driving and another five were found to have taken drugs during a month-long crackdown in South Yorkshire.
The drivers were caught out as part of South Yorkshire Police’s annual drink and drug driving campaign in December 2021.
South Yorkshire Police and its road safety partners said they are ‘encouraged’ and ‘pleased’ that the number of drivers testing positive for drink and drugs at the roadside throughout the festive period is on the decrease.
But they warn there is still room for improvement, with the number of drivers still testing positive following road traffic collisions ‘clearly of concern’.
A total of 960 motorists were breathalysed and 30 – 3.1 per cent – were found to be over the limit for alcohol.
The year before 75 drink drivers were caught – 9.8 per cent of those tested.
In 2019, 82 were found to be over the limit – 11.8 per cent of those breathalysed.
Twelve of those who tested positive over the last three years were breathalysed after road traffic collisions.
Sergeant Mark Bradey, of South Yorkshire Police’s roads policing group, said: “The percentage of positive breath tests has seen a marked drop, albeit the 14.6 per cent testing positive following collisions is clearly of concern.”
On top of this, 72 drug wipes were administered at the roadside during the latest campaign, with 24 – 33.33 per cent – testing positive. Of these, 18 were administered following a collision, with five – 27.8 per cent – testing positive.
Inspector Jason Booth, of the roads policing group, said: “This annual campaign is critical in highlighting the dangers of drink driving and how prevalent it can still be on our region’s roads.
“While we are pleased to see the number of positive tests decreasing, the fact that even one takes place is too many. A drink driving incident so often ends in heartache and despair for one or more families, and we cannot rest on our laurels until these figures are driven right down.
“And we won’t. Our officers both in the Operational Support Unit and across the force will continue to pro-actively crack down on this until no more lives are altered through injury or cut short through tragedy on South Yorkshire’s roads.”
Joanne Wehrle, manager of the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, said: “The lower percentage of people returning positive breath tests is encouraging to see and hopefully shows a shift in attitude toward recognising the dangers of driving under the influence of any amount of alcohol.
“We will continue to work with partners to share our educational campaigns in the hope they influence road user behaviour and encourage people to make responsible decisions just like the majority of people who do not drink or take drugs and drive.
“Only then will we be able to prevent the unnecessary pain and suffering caused by road traffic collisions.”
For more information on drink and drug driving, please visit SYSRP’s website.